Arena Pharmaceuticals issued new patent

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Arena Pharmaceuticals has announced that it was issued U.S. patent number 6,902,902, entitled "Human G Protein-Coupled Receptors and Modulators Thereof for the Treatment of Metabolic-Related Disorders," by the U.S. Patent Office.

The patent relates to certain drug screening methods that utilize the niacin receptor. Ligands of the niacin receptor play a role in regulating plasma lipid profiles, including HDL cholesterol, the so-called "good cholesterol." The invention set forth in the newly issued patent and Arena's chemistry capabilities represented the basis for initiating the cardiovascular disease collaboration with Merck.

"The invention set forth in this patent has been instrumental in identifying G Protein-Coupled Receptor targeted compounds that have the potential to regulate plasma lipid profiles, including HDL cholesterol, similar to the therapeutic action of niacin," commented Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Utilizing the technology in this patent, our cardiovascular disease collaboration with Merck is making progress towards its goal of discovering a drug with improved characteristics over today's treatments."

"Merck is pleased with the progress of this program to date," stated Mervyn Turner, Ph.D., Senior Vice President Worldwide Licensing and External Research. "We look forward to continued progress in this program, which has the potential to bring important benefits to cardiovascular disease patients."

Blood principally contains two types cholesterol: LDL and HDL cholesterol. Generally, LDL is considered the "bad cholesterol" because it can leave deposits inside the walls of blood vessels which can adversely effect blood flow and over time increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. HDL cholesterol, considered the "good cholesterol," can help clear the "bad" deposits caused by LDL cholesterol by removing them from the walls of blood vessels and transporting them to the liver for processing and removal from the body. Drugs that can influence the levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol may potentially provide clinical benefits to patients by reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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